Questions tagged [consonants]

a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract.

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8
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the differences between palatal consonant and palatalized consonant?

In IPA chart, there is a column named "palatal consonants", including consonants as ɲ, c, ɟ, ç, ʝ, ʎ for example. There is also a 'palatalization sign': ʲ, which can be applied to all consonants, used,...
7
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2answers
782 views

Understanding Voiced Consonants

I've been having some trouble understanding how is it that what differentiates, for example, /p/ from /b/, is the vibration of the vocal chords, present in /b/, but not in /p/. From what I have read ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Can you give me some tips on how to pronounce ejective consonants?

I'll be going back to the Republic of Georgia pretty soon and will try to learn the famously difficult language but last time I was there I couldn't distinguish or reproduce the ejectives. Everybody ...
6
votes
2answers
667 views

geminate or long consonants in Ancient Greek?

I can't decide whether Ancient Greek had "geminate" or "long" consonants. In other words did γλῶττα stand for [glˈɔːt̪.t̪a] or for [glˈɔː.t̪ːa] ? The difference between geminate and long consonants is ...
9
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6answers
4k views

Is there a voiced-unvoiced pair for R or L in any language?

Voiced and unvoiced consonant pairs exist for /z/ and /s/, /g/ and /k/, /b/ and /p/, and many others. But I've never heard it for /ɹ/ or /l/. I think it's totally possible to use the vocal cords for ...
6
votes
2answers
228 views

Dataset/Database similar to WALS in Vowel/Phonology

I am wondering if there is any database similar to The World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)(https://wals.info/). In the case that it is specifically more geared towards phonological aspects of ...
5
votes
2answers
794 views

Can a vowel be a consonant?

So, I know there are certain consonants in the IPA that have vowel-like properties, and can therefor be used as vowels, such as [n], [m], and [l]. Examples include [pnt], or [ʒlf]. So, in the loosest ...
10
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2answers
757 views

Do voiceless approximants exist? What is the consensus among phoneticians/phonologists?

Voiceless sounds that are produced with supralaryngeal configurations that would be considered approximants if voiced are attested in languages (i.e. [j̊], [l̥], etc.), but none are found to contrast ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Where did Spanish get its /x/? Arabic influence?

Most Romance languages don't have /x/ (like the j in hijo), nor did Latin. Where did Spanish /x/ come from? Internal development, Arabic influence, or something else? Since Moroccan Arabic also has /x/...
2
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4answers
404 views

Why d͡z is not considered two consonants

Wondering why d͡z is not considered two consonants. Same with p͡f, t͡s, etc.
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Cross-linguistically, how do syllabic consonants interact with morae?

I've read a bit about the moraic system found in Japanese, but as there isn't much complexity in the case of its syllabic consonants, I am left with a few questions. 1) Are there any natural ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Whispered Voiced Consonants

Is there a difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants when whispering, which as I understand it, does not use the vocal cords? I know it sounds silly to ask because we can all understand ...
6
votes
1answer
354 views

Can a syllable be open before a lenghtened consonant?

This thread (related to this problem) can be split into two questions, the first one being restricted to Ancient Greek, the second one being more general. (1) Let's be, by example, two syllables, the ...
11
votes
2answers
698 views

Do we have the scientific theory why the click consonants were developed?

Do we have a scientific theory explaining why the click consonants were developed, and why they are used almost exclusivly in praerie regions? I've watched a BBC documentary about the evolution of ...
11
votes
7answers
22k views

Why are consonants distinguished differently than vowels?

Consonants are distinguished normally by features like place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced/voiceless, etc. while vowels are usually distingusihed by stuff like tongue's position and ...
5
votes
1answer
270 views

Change of B > W in casual speech

I am exploring the phonological system of Kyrgyz Language. In casual speech people tend to change b > w when b occurs between two vowels or preceeds l, r, y and followed by vowel. Are there other ...
5
votes
1answer
739 views

Is there a theory challenging the "strict" distinction between Thai and Vietnamese?

I understand Thai and Lao and all their dialects, and Vietnamese and all its dialects to be of totally different language evolutionary families (Tai Kra-Dai and Astroasiatic). I can speak and read ...
3
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1answer
209 views

Good audio resources for the ejective consonants

I think I understand the ejective consonants, but even after listening to the Wikipedia audio clips, I am not sure I would be able to distinguish them from the corresponding "regular" consonant, like ...
1
vote
1answer
288 views

How to annotate "popping" vs. non-popping sounds of sequential consonants

How to write (orthography) words in a distinct way to capture the essence of these pronunciations (I'll try to use IPA but probably will do it wrong so adding another variation). hip /hɪp/ hipo /hɪpo/...
-1
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1answer
27k views

What are "hard" and "soft" consonants?

Many writing systems make a distinction between "hard" and "soft" phonemes represented by the same grapheme or an accented version thereof. What writing systems make this distinction and what are the ...
-6
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1answer
231 views

The German consonant "c" changes to the English "g"

What is the name of a sound shift law under which the German consonant "c" changes to the English "g", e.g. Macht -> might; Nacht -> night; Tochter -> daughter; fechten -> fight; recht -> right; ...